(FREE BEACON) – The Biden administration's pledge to roll back Trump-era policies promoting religious freedom abroad threatens to undermine America’s ability to protect religious minorities in China, the Middle East, and beyond.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken in March reversed a 2020 executive order that directed federal agencies to "prioritize international religious freedom in the planning and implementation of United States foreign policy." The order also allocated $50 million in foreign assistance funding and expanded religious freedom training to federal employees. He vowed to "repudiate" the Trump administration's focus on religious freedom in foreign policy, which he said came at the cost of other human rights issues such as gay rights and abortion.
The Biden White House is backing away from advocacy for religious freedom abroad at a time when unscrupulous regimes are cracking down on religious minorities in China, Ethiopia, and across the Middle East. Olivia Enos, a senior policy analyst at Heritage Foundation, said America's drawdown in the face of persecution would hamper its broader foreign policy interests and human rights commitments.
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